Our second travel adventure after moving to London brought us to Denmark’s charming capital city for a four-day weekend. After a few train rides and a short flight, we arrived in Copenhagen, setting out to explore after briefly settling into our home for the stay—a cozy, design-oriented and thoughtfully-decorated AirBnB apartment with true Danish style.
The weather was beautiful, so we set off on foot. We were almost immediately greeted by large groups of people participating in a parade through the streets. With the sun shining and the smell of spring in the air, it was no surprise that there so many people—Danes and visitors alike—out and about enjoying the day. We ended up at Puk, a restaurant serving traditional Danish food a few steps from Gammeltorv, where we indulged in fried pork with potatoes and red cabbage and fish and chips. We were seated next to an older American couple whom we spoke with throughout our meal. It’s always a pleasure to share thoughts and plans with other travelers, especially when they have a different perspective from you.
After dinner we continued wandering around the center of the city. While the main streets and squares were buzzing with people and activity, we were amazed at how quiet and quaint the side streets were. The overall calmness and cleanliness of the city was a pleasant surprise and drew us further in as we walked along.
We ended the night at Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s picturesque waterfront, taking in the mix of colorful buildings and the orange and red glow of the evening sky. There is good reason why tourists flock to this part of the city—it’s absolutely beautiful!
Our second day started at Rosenborg Castle Gardens after a quick breakfast of cinnamon buns and croissants. One of our favorite parts of Copenhagen was the green space and the respect with which the residents treat it. These gardens were no exception, and the great weather called for some lingering. After taking it in, we made the short walk to Kastellet, which is an old star fortress that today functions mostly as a great place to go for a walk or run. It was so peaceful that we almost felt like we weren’t in a city. There was plenty of wildlife as well—we ran into many very large birds that we were convinced had to be statues!
Leaving Kastellet, we were in a prime location to swing by the Little Mermaid statue which certainly falls into the “must-see” category. Though the statue can leave a bit to be desired, it was very nice to relax by the water on a nearby bench and people watch for a bit while we rested our legs. We then walked back to Nyhavn along the water to catch a canal tour. It was great to get out on the water and learn more about Copenhagen’s development, history, and architecture, and we saw parts of the city that we probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. It was also fun to watch the crew skillfully direct the boat through some very narrow passages and tight turns.
Back on land we realized how much of an appetite we had worked up. We grabbed a bus to the Vesterbro neighborhood where we shared fried sausages and chicken salad at Granola, a small eatery with an old school diner feel. We popped into a couple of small stores in the area and even found ourselves at Central Hotel & Cafe, the world’s smallest hotel!
We hopped back onto a bus and arrived shortly thereafter at Frederiksberg Park which was one of the coolest city parks we’ve ever been to. The park had plenty of space and it seemed like there were so many kinds of animals roaming around, all of whom were pretty comfortable coexisting with people. As if the park wasn’t beautiful enough, it’s capped by an exquisite palace of the same name, which used to serve as the royal family’s summer home and adds a bold splash of yellow to the scene.
As evening approached, we went back to our apartment, picking up a pancetta and potato pizza from Pizza Huset for takeaway on the way. Over pizza we planned out the next couple of days and then relaxed after a busy day. Part of the reason we love using AirBnB is that it can provide such homey and inspirational places to recharge as opposed to a lifeless hotel room, and this apartment was no exception. We needed the rest to prepare for the second half of our long weekend!